Brockton man charged with killing boy

A Brockton man is being charged with the June beating death of a 4-year boy, and the child’s mother faces an accessory charge, officials said Monday.

Police arrested Antonio Durham, 32, without incident Monday afternoon in Fall River on a murder charge in the fatal beating of Chauncey Cohen, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz’s office said.

Cohen’s mother — Tania Merisca, 27, also of Brockton — was arrested about 25 minutes later in that city on a charge of accessory after the fact of the commission of a felony, Cruz’s office said.


It was not known if either defendant had hired lawyers.

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A number listed for Merisca’s relatives was not in service Monday, and a call to an address listed for Durham’s family was not returned.

The pair were dating at the time of Chauncey’s death, but the current status of their relationship could not be determined.

According to the statement from prosecutors, Merisca brought Chauncey to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton on the night of June 2, and the child was unresponsive. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

“The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the abdomen, and the manner of death was homicide,” Cruz’s office said. Chauncey had been staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Brockton with his mother and Durham.


Prosecutors released few details Monday explaining the basis for the charges.

“After a lengthy investigation, including witness interviews and examination of forensic and medical evidence, investigators sought and obtained arrest warrants” Wednesday, Cruz’s office said.

A spokeswoman for Cruz declined to elaborate on the evidence before the suspects’ arraignments Tuesday in Brockton District Court.

An emotional Merisca told the Globe shortly after the boy’s death that her son suddenly lost consciousness while she gave him a bath in the hotel on the night he was rushed to the hospital. She said she had been working in West Bridgewater for most of the day and that Durham was babysitting Chauncey.

Merisca defended Durham at the time.


“He is somebody who respects me and my child, and that’s it,” she said. “For this to happen, it’s a tragedy. And I’m so mad at myself because I wished I had just called out of work.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.